Why More Women Drop Out of Engineering

Analyzing the reasons why the dropout rate among female engineering students is high when compared to males, a recent study conducted by the University of California-San Diego provides some insights.

09/17/2002


Analyzing the reasons why the dropout rate among female engineering students is high when compared to males, a recent study conducted by the University of California-San Diego provides some insights.

The survey’s main finding is that females tend to view math and science abilities as innate, so when coursework becomes too challenging, they often question whether they are cut out for the profession. On the other hand, male students are more likely to see difficult classes as a challenge that can be overcome with hard work.

“Women feel that they have to perform better than their male peers to fit in. When they face a difficult situation, many women fear that people will question whether they belong in engineering, and they may even start believing the stereotypes,” noted co-researcher and professor Gail D. Heyman, as quoted in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Further, the study found that women often blame themselves for failures, whereas men look to external elements such as their professor’s teaching abilities.

For more information, visit the University of California-San Diego’s web site at: www.ucsd.edu/research.html .





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